Marriage Missions International

Why Hurt People Hurt People

It is an old adage that says “hurt people hurt people.”

It is well known that those who have been emotionally damaged tend to inflict their hurt and pain on other people. For example, a large percentage of those who have been sexually abused become the abusers of others; those who suffered under an alcoholic parent often themselves cause their future family to suffer because of their drunken stupors.

Until we as a church deal with the whole person as shown in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 our congregations will be filled with people who are spiritually gifted but act like emotional infants. As in other words, the church must deal with emotional health and not just spiritual health and power.

The following are common traits hurt people display in their interactions with others.

1. Hurt people often transfer their inner anger onto their family and close friends.

  • Often those around them become the recipients of harsh tones and fits of rage because they have unknowingly become the vicarious recipients of transferred rage.

2. Hurt people interpret every word spoken to them through the prism of their pain.

  • Because of their pain, ordinary words are often misinterpreted to mean something negative towards them.
  • Because of this, they are extremely sensitive and act out of pain instead of reality.

3. Hurt people interpret every action through the prism of their pain.

  • Their emotional pain causes them to suspect wrong motives or evil intent behind other people’s actions towards them.

4. Hurt people often portray themselves as victims and carry a “victim spirit”.

  • Often hurt people can cry “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” or often use the words “unjust” or “unfair” to describe the way they are being treated, even if there is no truth to this. (That is not to say that sometimes there really is racism or sexism in some instances; this is just used as an example.)

Hurt people have a hard time entering into a trusting relationship.
Hurt people often carry around a suspicious spirit.

5. Hurt people often alienate others and wonder why no one is there for them.

  • They often continually hurt the ones they love and need the most with their self-destructive behavior.

6. Hurt people have the emotional maturity of the age they received their (un-dealt with) hurt.

  • For example, if a girl was raped by a man when she was 12 years old, unless she forgives that man and allows Christ to heal her heart and allay her fears, in that particular area of her life (sexuality with a man) her emotional growth will stop; even when she reaches her later years she may still have the emotional maturity of a 12 year-old.

7. Hurt people are often frustrated and depressed because past pain continually spills over into their present consciousness.

  • In many instances, they may not even be aware of why they are continually frustrated or depressed because they have coped with pain by compartmentalizing it or layering it over with other things over time.

8. Hurt people often erupt with inappropriate emotion because particular words, actions, or circumstances “touch” and “trigger” past woundedness.

  • I have been in situations with people in which there was a gross overreaction to a word I spoke or an action that was taken. Although I was shocked and thought this reaction came “out of left field” it was really the person responding to an accumulation of years of hurt and pain that could not help but spill over in various situations.
  • I myself have been in situations where I felt hurt, troubled, or overreacted to something because it touched a nerve with what I was still dealing with because of a wound I received in the past. In these situations I have attempted to reason through the situation as objectively as I can with much prayer and introspection so I would not say or do anything damaging to another person or myself.

9. Hurt people often occupy themselves with busyness, work, performance, and/or accomplishments as a way of compensating for low self-esteem.

  • Often ministers are not motivated by a love for Jesus but a drive to accomplish.
  • It is important that pastors and ministers be led by the Spirit instead of being driven to succeed.
  • A minister should not preoccupy himself with making things happen. He or she should walk in integrity and humility and allow God to open up doors and provide a ministerial platform according to their assignment for their life and ministry.

10. Hurt people often attempt to medicate themselves with excessive entertainment, drugs, alcohol, pornography, sexual relationships, or hobbies as a way to forget their pain and run from reality.

  • Until the church learns to deal with and emphasize the emotional life and health of the believer, the church will be filled with half-Christians who pray and read the Bible but find no victory because they do not face the woundedness in their souls.

11. Hurt people have learned to accommodate their private “false self” or “dark side” which causes them to be duplicitous and lack integrity.

  • Often their private life is different from their public life, which causes hypocrisy and compounds feelings of guilt, condemnation, and depression.

12. Hurt people are often self-absorbed with their own pain and are unaware that they are hurting other people.

  • They are often insensitive to other people because their emotional pain limits their capacity for empathy and their capacity for self-awareness.
  • I have been in numerous situations when someone hurt me and kept on going in the relationship without ever apologizing because they had no clue what they were doing.

13. Hurt people are susceptible to demonic deception.

  • I am convinced that most of the divisions in the church are caused by saints who lack emotional health and project their pain onto others.
  • Satan works in darkness and deception, and stays away from the light. Hurt people often have destructive habit-patterns that are practiced in the dark. Hence, their mind becomes a breeding ground for satanic infiltration and deception.
  • If the church would deal more with the emotional health of the individual, there would be less of a foothold for demonic infiltration. Also, there would be stronger relationships, stronger marriages, healthier children, and a more balanced approach to ministry with less of a chance of pastoral and congregational burnout.

14. God often purposely surfaces pain so hurt people can face reality.

  • Whether it is because of a marriage problem, or continual personal conflicts on the job, God often allows conflict and spillover because he wants the infection to stop spreading and the person to be healed.
  • Often Christians are fighting the devil and blaming him for conflict when in essence God often allows conflict so that people would be motivated to dig deeper into their lives to deal with root causes of destructive thought and habit patterns.
  • God’s purpose for us is that we would all be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This does not just happen with Bible studies, prayer, and times of glory but also in painful situations when we have to face what has been hurting us for many years.
  • I have noticed that these periods of surfacing woundedness often take place when people transition into the mid-life years of their upper thirties and later. Perhaps this is because by then they are old enough to understand by experience that there is something wrong and also that it is not too late to redeem their pain and restore relationships and maximize their purpose. Rarely is a person able or even willing to deal with and face pain when they hit their senior years (in their sixties or older). Most at this age have already become cynical, hard-hearted, and/or become so depressed they have become hopeless even though God is able to help them at any age.

15. Hurt people need to forgive to be released and restored to freedom.

  • The Gospel of St. John 20:23 says that we have to release the sins of others if we are going to be released. This means that if we do not forgive others then the very thing we have become victimized with will become a part of our life. For example, alcoholic fathers breed alcoholic sons if their sons do not forgive and release their fathers.
  • The good news is that, through the efficacious blood of Christ, we can all be healed and set free from all past hurts so we can comfort others with the same comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:4).

Truly our mess can become our message!

The above article was written by Joseph Mattera. Joseph has been in full-time ministry since 1980 and is currently the presiding Bishop of Christ Covenant Coalition and Overseeing Bishop of Resurrection Church in New York, a multi-ethnic congregation of 40 nationalities that has successfully developed numerous leaders and holistic ministry in the New York region and beyond.

His passion is to see the Lordship of Christ manifest over every realm of society so the church can fulfill the cultural mandate in Genesis 1:28. This has resulted in extensive ministry nationally and internationally, reaching out to many nations of the world including the former Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Turkey, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Holland, Ukraine, Canada, Mexico, and Cuba. You can visit his web site to read additional articles written by Joseph Mattera by clicking HERE.

— ALSO —

A good resource we recommend, that may help you further in dealing with this type of situation would be, HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE, written by Sandra Wilson, published by Discovery House.

Another good resource we recommend you look into is, Boundaries in Marriage -written by John Townsend and Henry Cloud, published by Zondervan.


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57 Responses to “Why Hurt People Hurt People”
  1. Deb says:

    (USA)  This was good information. I would like to have some healing toward a sister who has hurt me all my life and has alienated me now.

  2. Mary D says:

    (AFRICA)  I have been reading marriage missions articles for quite a while now. I don’t know why I did not come to this article sooner. Like Deb from USA, this is very good information. I have been dragging my past along with me in my marriage. My ex hurt me terribly and each time I have a difference with my husband I would explode and compare him to my ex. I believe I need to practice forgiveness on my past hurts and move on with my new found love. I know it cant just happen overnight, but I will pray about it.

  3. Cassandra says:

    (UNITED STATES)  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This article has brought a revelation to me that I had an idea of, but could not put it into such details as the author has done so here. I am one in need of forgiving from past and present hurts and moving forward in emotional healing. I am a pastor’s wife and I have been living a double life that I know is not pleasing to God. My public life and private life are two different worlds. My husband and I have been at odds with each other for years. We have even tried to forgive one another of past and present hurts. It seems as though things would seem to keep re-surfacing. But now I understand it is because we are not emotionally healthy. I know I see myself in much of this and I also see my husband. I am praying that I learn how to walk in this so that we do not destroy that which God has placed in our hands.

    Thank you – I will continue to read this for my emotional health.

  4. Sincere says:

    (EGYPT)  What happens when both people in the marriage have done and said hurtful things to one another and one forgives and the other continues to hold on to their hurt, and you feel like you have suggested everything to try to fix things and there are children involved, but the other person still wants to continue to hold on to their hurt and wont let go? Do you A) continue to wait around not knowing whether or not he/she come around or B) Move on get divorce? Those are the only to options that I can think of. If anyone have any suggestions please let me know.

    • NavyGrey says:

      (USA)  Egypt, First, we can all sense your frustration, to which you have every right. I wish more parents would consider their children and try harder to save their marriages. On the other hand, I wish my mother had left my violent, abusive father years earlier than she did. Only you can say if it’s worth it to stay or go.

      Yet, here is my advice. First of all, print out this article and give it your spouse and attach a written note expressing your feelings above. (I have found it is sometimes helpful to communicate over serious problems like this in writing, since it can force both parties to actually listen and drop the hateful comments.)

      Next, you should make an appointment for couples counseling with a qualified therapist. If your spouse refuses to go, please go to the therapy sessions by yourself. This way you can continue to work on healing and strengthening your soul.

      Eventually, either your spouse will be impressed by the changes you have made and join you in therapy, or you will have to make the decision to provide a healthier, happier home for just you and your children by divorcing your spouse. Either way, you and your children will be better off than you are right now. God Bless you and everyone in your position! In God’s Love, NavyGrey

    • Anthony says:

      (CANADA)  How does a couple work through broken trust? The father has just been found to have sexually abused his daughter for two or three years. Before his current marriage, he was her only caregiver at the time since he was divorced. He confessed to his pastor and is now seeking counsel. His current wife who has seen her own train of sexual abuse in her life is devastated as he was her knight in shining armor. It has been very hard to get past the hurt.

      The husband knows that at this point he is living under grace as he puts the parts back together with his daughter and wife. His daughter has forgiven him years ago but needs help. He is trusting in God for his complete deliverance and is praying that the hurt he has caused his wife can be healed. What do you think he should do to help make this work?

    • PHIL says:

      (U.S)  It is the responsibility of the offender to remove the offense. It is what love does. If they are unwilling to do that, then love has left, and then the offended party is left with no alternative but to get away from them.

      Marriage counselors are like vultures, and lawyers like jackels. Your failed marriage is their paycheck. If you are a Christian, you already have “the Counselor” inside of you. You don’t need “anyone” to tell you what to do, no pastor, no lawyer, no marriage counselor, no doctor, no friend, no relative. Listen carefully, now you’re going to find out who really loves you! And it isn’t going to be any of the above. God is with the innocent, the brokenhearted, the persecuted, the faithful, rejoice in that!

      There’s a reason you got crushed, you are being called! Read: Matthew 5:3-12. It’s ok to cry, God Himself cried when He saw what the unfaithful do. But for you, remain faithful to Him. Because many are called, but few are chosen. See you in heaven!

  5. Pauline says:

    (USA)  Pauline, I have read many articles like this. Although I understand what is being said it is really hard to be on the receiving end of the hurting individual hurt. For the past five year I have been trying to cope with the hurt I received from my spouse. It’s hard to think someone can be loving one day and hurtful another. I love my husband but he is killing me gradually. I would often ask GOD, what have I done to deserve this kind of treatment?

    There are times it’s too much to bear. The pain in my heart is too much. This situation is also affecting me physically. We have had many different counselors. Things would get better for a short while, then it’s back to normal.

    Everything you mentioned in your article is what I am being put through. I try to make sense of the different situations that would occur. I question myself so many times but somehow it’s unbelievable as to what people are capable of. I really am trying to console myself with GOD’s word, which is what keeps be going mostly. There are times when I wish to live no longer because of the pain I am being subject to.

    I know that this is not how GOD intended for me to live. I wish I could reach my husband and help him out of his torture and then I could have a better life. I am in my late thirties and my husband is his late forties. I have two girls, 18 and fourteen years of age and they live with us. I am from the Caribbean. I’ve lived here in the USA for the past two years.

    Looking at this situation, it looks hopeless. All I can do is continue to trust GOD and do my best to believe that someday everything will get better. My concern is for my sanity and the effects this will have on my children. I am at the stage where I do not know how to have fun or to be happy. Sometimes I would ask GOD why has he forsaken and abandoned me.

    • Kathy says:

      (UK)  Pauline, I totally understand… I went through what you are going through and my heart felt like an open wound with pepper sprayed onto it. I had resigned and waited for the day I’d die and go to heaven… I did not really anticipate any change!

      One day, my husband packed his bags and left after 10 years of marriage! It was a relief for me and the kids. I knelt down in our lounge and prayed to God and forgave him in my heart. But I also told God that if he ever came back, I did not want the same man. He came back and said the first sorry ever in 10 years of marriage! He is completely changed! I found it so hard to deal with the new man… the old one was more predictable!

      Do not give up. Pray for him. God loves him more than you do. What he did for me, He can do for you. ‘They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and their testimony.’

      • Linette says:

        (US)  My husband has been hurt so badly from his past. When we met, I thought I could make a difference in his life and show him the love of God and that would make a difference. But as time went gone by, I saw a side of him that I did not see in the beginning.

        He has shared with me some of the hurts & pains that he has experienced in his past. Every time we had a bad moment then he would do something very hurtful to me. I couldn’t understand why things were getting worse, but it was that he was already hurt from the past and it began to spill out into our marriage.

        No matter what I said he would always take it the wrong way and cause a fight and divison among us. Now I am in a state to pray for him and expect God to deliver him and give him a new spirit. If not, I will move on with my life and learn from my past mistake. I will not give up on him but, I will allow God to do a work in him.

        • Violinpiano says:

          (SINGAPORE) Linette, I admire you. You are very intelligent and you have deep love. Don’t let your husband affect you. Love him but don’t let him drag you down.

    • Sue says:

      (UK)  Pauline, put scriptures where you can easily see them and recite them. Say them until they grip your heart.

  6. Ambrose says:

    (KENYA)  Thanks for the encouraging articles. Forgiveness is difficult, painful and at times costly, especially when you are hurt by the spouse you love but they are arrogant.

    I was hurt by my wife who instead of helping me through the pain, became continuously arrogant. As a result I developed depression. To get healed I resigned from work in order to change my environment and be far from her. Because of this I was able to forgive her and got healed from the heart problems that had developed.

    We are now back together and I no longer feel hurt by her past, though she does not admit that she hurt me. This was a very expensive healing process.

  7. Timothy says:

    (USA)  Oh how true is the title of this commentary… I also am aware of a book from several years back that was in our home but didn’t give much thought to it. At this present time two things come to the front of my convictions and I’m somewhat perplexed at what to do… certainly PRAY!

    The first is that because of personal loss my wife has experienced in the past four years, it really has seemed that our connection as husband and wife has been stretched… apart. It also has had pulls from the birth of our daughter nearly eight years ago. The toughest area of connection seems to be in the area of communication and that in its fullness and healthiness… and yes in the area of love, making it would seem that we’re more "business partners" than the two that God would purpose to become one according to His Word.

    That said, the second point that comes to mind, and I must confess my insecurity in part, is that not only do hurt people hurt people, but tonight, Christmas day, I seem to be revelated that yes, I am hurt and in part I would tend to hurt others if only by my sensitive temper.

    I have determined to find a brother or two that God will lead me to, and pray about this. I cannot find a reason while I stand before Him to toss in the towel of my marriage no matter how much it hurts. On the other hand I’m continuously reminded that He alone wishes to heal and mend what He has joined together nearly fifteen years ago.

    Thank you for listening to my comment. Again I’m going to praise Him because I’m going to consider this a revelation… an insight into growing forward and not let this continue for another minute or shrink me back. God Bless you and feel free to respond… thank you… Tim

  8. Jennie says:

    (USA)  This article is VERY GOOD. I think this may what is happening in my marriage. Both my husband and I have been married before. I believe we are both hurting each other because of our past hurts.

    Besides prayer, how do we get over this?

    • Kris says:

      (USA)  If you both know you have the same goals you can seek out a counselor who can help you communicate with one another and break the cycle.

  9. Lori says:

    (USA)  This article is a mirror image of me, which is why I often feel self loathing towards myself. I am struggling to overcome past childhood hurts and have been dealing with this for a long time. Pray with me that I allow Jesus to help me because I often alienate Him. I push Him away and neglect Him like I do everyone else. Then feel hurt because I cannot feel His presence. I need a true healing, not a surface one, but I fear I will have destroyed every relationship I have before then.

  10. Jrbreda says:

    (USA) I am going through some the same issues that are here. My husband and I have been separated for a month and the hurts seems not to go away. I made lots of mistakes by putting him down in all types of ways. It is really a long story. I miss him now a lot and so does my daughter; she is not doing well with all of this. My thing is he feels that I am cheating and I feel the same about him.

    I can call him and he won’t answer or even text him and no answer. I have asked him to come home on several occasions and he says I got what I wanted. I really didn’t want this but this was my way of trying to get him to come around. I was hurt so I felt that if I hurt him he would start doing things with us as a family.

    What I can’t understand is why he won’t go to spiritual counseling with me. I love him and want my marriage to work. I have asked God for his forgiveness and also my husband but he seems not to want to do that either. I forgive him for all that he has done or is doing. I just want to start all over but with Christ with us. Does any one have any suggestions?

    • Sue says:

      (UK)  There are always two sides to the coin. Your side, you would like things to work out, and his side! He needs the space to deal with his hurt in his own way. Just respect that and wait prayerfully if he comes back to you. If not, there is still a way out of this. If you love somebody, let them go. If they come back to you, then they are yours. If they do not come back, then accept it.

    • Sue says:

      (USA) Wow, this sounds like me…trying to hurt him to make him come around. Realizing now that 2 wrongs don’t make a right and there are better ways to handle it.

  11. Mick says:

    (AMERICA)  Well, what if said person is Bipolar and Schizophrenic? It’s my wife who runs away and never does anything right. The anger in me is that she is hurting me by running away. This hurts very much, like tonight, I don’t know where she is. She called one Tuesday morning from Deming, NM asking for money for a ticket. Well, I sent the money but she never picked it up. Then I found out she left and went to California. She is totally lost and thinks she is doing right.

    I can quote 1 Timothy 2:9 which says in it that a woman is to do what is right and not hurt the one she loves but it sure does hurt and makes me angry at her. But it’s not her fault. This is a generational curse on her family since she is the great, great granddaughter of Geronimo. I don’t believe in messing around or divorce. That is a sin of the worst type.

    So many friends of mine have done this and married again and that is another sin called adultery. But they say that it’s okay and not really wrong. This is not okay to fornicate with another person who is not your spouse. They keep saying well, Jesus died and put an end to the law. Wrong! It never happened that way.
    He died to make the law perfect in his Father’s eyes. I need prayer for my wife who is lost. Her name is Johnnie Lou.

  12. Penny says:

    (US)  This is the first article that describes me perfectly. I hurt my husband verbally and physically. I’m so ashamed of the things I say and do. I have been a Christian for years. I hate myself for all the things I put him through. I hurt so bad from losing my first spouse to Cancer. I am so angry for him being gone. We were married for 23 years. I took care of him until his death. I used to sit and watch him sleep and beg him to talk to me, but he couldn’t. I felt so abandoned by him after he died.

    I met a wonderful man and married one year ago today. My recent husband just left me 3 days ago. I’m sick over this. Once again I feel abandoned and blame myself for it all. My recent husband shuts down and won’t talk to me anytime we have a disagreement. I keep reverting back to when my first husband couldn’t speak to me and I was alone and scared once again. I want to abuse my first husband so bad when he shuts me out because it reminds me of my late husband not being able to speak to me. I have never told this to anyone before. I’m good until this situation triggers something in me. Please help me to save my marriage and seek help for myself because I’m so angry.

    • Kisa says:

      (UK)  It is very difficult and hurtful losing a spouse, especially after such a long marriage. It is not fair, though, to expect your husband to understand and carry your pain with you. He has not lost a spouse, you have. All he wants to do is love you, support you and be your husband.

      Maybe you need to deal with the past pain before you deal with the present.

  13. Lex says:

    (BAHAMAS)  I realize that hurt people hurt one another now that God has made me whole. The things I thought before about others and myself are no more. God changes us completely and imparts more of Himself in us. There are some people in relationships that seek love to fill the void of being hurt and it is just a temporary bandage because only GOD CAN HEAL THEM.

    I see relationships where so much stress is placed on the other person for attention and affection its exhausting to watch and one partner is so needy and clingy its not healthy. In many cases some partners take advantage and let the other one wait on them hand and foot and use their weakness prey on them. But a real love and a real Christian spouse would seek ways to help the other overcome their fears of loneliness, pain, rejection and or abuse.

    Some have said women are more giving by nature. That is a negative confession. There is indeed power in the words we speak their can be an equal playing ground and a healthy balance if it is established early on. On the honeymoon and in the beauty of the newness you may want to wait on the person hand and foot but be realistic is it practical to wait on someone hand and foot after a hard day of work and kids to tend to and food to cook too. Should a woman start something that later on may lead to resentment and strife? There needs to be a healthy balance.

    No one should be doing everything or giving all of themselves. It should never be one sided nor should love be. If it is then that is not love. Love according to the scripture in Corinthians is patient, kind, humble and does not boast, is not arrogant and does not insist on its own way. So why are there spouses or significant others that do look at the scripture when you try to determine if it is love? If it does not line up with the word – you are decieved. Its not love! God word is truth!

    God must be our first love and show us the way the truth and the light so we can then see the right mate. If we are cloudy in our minds and filled with darkness it will be hard to find the light. Seek Christ first saints!

  14. Felicity says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  I am going through the same thing. My husband was married before, and everytime we have a misunderstanding he will always compare the situation to that of what He had with his former wife. At times I don’t know why I am still with him. In his fits of rage he will threaten to kill me.

  15. Linette says:

    (US)  Thank you so much for answering my prayers. I have been dealing with separating from my husband over six times in the last three years. I’ve been seeking God. Why are we always back in the same place?

    My husband has been hurt ever since he was a little boy by his parents and then with two bad marriages. I see now that he doesn’t have a spirit of forgiveness and that is what pours out into our relationship and causes us to have a very unhealthy marriage. Yes, he is a minister of the Gospel, but he has a stoney heart. Thanks for the insight to hurting people.

  16. Jennifer says:

    (USA)  Wow. You have NO idea how true this article is. I am walking proof of it. I was abused as a child and held onto unforgiveness and pain for so long I carried it into my marriage. When my husband hurt me, it compiled on and brought all those old memories up even more. I sat in complete darkness for 6 years and took it out on him.

    About a month ago I woke up and realized I had held onto unforgiveness for 25 years. I contacted my abusers and they expressed great remorse and regret for ever hurting me. I was able forgive them and release my past and anger. I feel more free today than I ever have in my life. I actually feel like I am worthy and deserve to be loved.

    I now have a relationship with God that is peaceful and am excited for my future. I know I damaged my husband with my words, but I hope that everyday I can show him I am changed and am now the wife he wants and deserves.

  17. Heavenly says:

    (BARBADOS)  Hi, I’m the product of emotional abuse from both my parents and unfortunately now my spouse- in our relationship I have also suffered psycological abuse.

    I have fled the relationship 3 months ago because of escalation of his threats- to take away my son- since I am an “unfit mother” as he put it. Now he has been trying to use my son as a weapon against me. It is difficult; for I have been his sole caretaker until I recently went back to work and put him in a nursery.

    I want to be reconciled with my husband and do love him but he continues to be abusive and laugh at me in any area where I may make a mistake and put me down. It’s quite hurtful since he is my husband. He has said to others that he wants reconciliation, but I’m not too sure what this means. He even has friends in the Child protection agencies who have been helping him and doing underhanded things to make me look bad; and have the unsaid threat of taking my son away since I am “unfit”. Again, this has been an exhausting emotional and psycological roller coaster.

    I really do wish to obey God’s leading which is why I left him. He wishes for me to come back, but he is using manipulation, deceit, condescension, aggression and institutional power to try to do it. I definitely do not want to go back to someone who behaves like this. He claims he’s willing to see a Domestic Violence counselor to be screened for Domestic Abuser’s characteristics. He has not however made any steps to do so himself.

    How can I ensure my son’s safety when he has such institutional “help”. He wants to take him overseas for 2 weeks including Christmas Day. How can I stop this?? If he takes me to court the abuse continues. He is not seeking professional help. He is supposed to be a Christian but it seems he is hiding something of his past from me. I want to just migrate with my son; but I don’t believe the child protection agencies will allow me to since his friends who work there seem to have a tremendous influence with the way matters are handled. But how can I ever let go of my son??

  18. Dr Apostle says:

    (USA)  The healing of the Christian family begins with the head: the husband. The husband needs to take the helm and lead the family in spiritual matters –whether he likes it or not. He can’t be perfect at it and that’s okay, but he is responsible for carrying out his duties as a husband and for loving his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). This is a very tall order to love his wife as Jesus loves us. But that is our calling. It is love in the family, lead and exemplified by the husband, that sets the tone of the marriage. He is responsible for the well being of the family. It is up to Him that God will come and require an account. This is serious business and the man needs to take it seriously.

  19. Dr Apostle says:

    (U.S.A)  Why does the husband let his family lie and say bad things about his own wife while she is very nice to him and his family?

  20. Heather says:

    (USA)  Something that I think needs to be stated before hurt people needing to forgive, is that hurt people need to be angry about the hurt someone else did to them, and acknowledge sin for sin! Often times hurt people see people as either all good or all bad, called splitting. This especially happens in relationships with parents. Before a person can forgive, they need to identify the person and the sin commited that caused the hurt.

  21. Karen says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  Hi everyone, I hope somebody can help me with scenario. I have been married for almost 22 years, which will be officially in this year, June. All my married life I have been abused in all areas of life. My husband had countless adulteress affairs. He simply love females and he doesn’t really feel comfortable with men’s conversations. He has been sleeping around with prostitutes, as well.

    He never confessed out of this except for this one moment in time that I decided to leave him. I was gone for almost three months. Then he decided that he wanted me back. He agreed to counselling but he never changed. Over these he just doesn’t like my conversation and he hardly chats with me.

    He so put us into debt, making loans secretly and then entertaining women. I LOVE him so much, always just trusting and believing that he would change, but whenever he made changes then it was always short lived changes.

    Currently he is working in East London because his friends got him a job out there as he had been for eight months without work. He is never available when I do phone him. He doesn’t communicate with me at all, only when he needs stuff to suit his personal needs. If I don’t approve of certain things? He would suggest, why don’t I divorce him? I feel so betrayed as he now told me that he can’t live anymore with me any longer and wants a divorce. I DON’T KNOW. I mean we are not even together right now.

    • Susie from United States says:

      Hello Karen, I wonder what has happened to you since you posted this comment. I was in the same situation as you for almost 27 years of marriage. I divorced him in Feb 2010. It is almost 4 years later now and my ex husband is still the same, he never changed. I was the good Christian wife, always loving, always forgiving, always having hope for a better life with him. The truth was that it would never happen with him. I realized that I was only tolerating him. He was having the life that he wanted and I was being forced to go along with it.

      It took a pastor to speak truth to me. My mind was in an abusive mindset. I only knew chaos from the emotional roller coaster ride with my ex and that was my normalcy. I had to break free from that mindset and God, the Father, set me free. I always envisioned my wrong thought patterns as cogs in mechanical system, such as the inner workings of an old clock. It took the cross of Jesus to be wedged in between the cogs to stop the process. The cross to me also looks like a sword, the two edged sword of truth, the word.

      I am still removing old mindsets. I never have to experience that torment again. Karen, God loves you, he doesn’t want you to be abused.

  22. Buck says:

    (USA)  Wow!!! Very, very powerful!!!

  23. Dineo says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA) Actually I’m not commenting anything but I need more advice. I’m engaged for 1 year and 2 months. I’m a born again Christian and I believe I’m hurting deeply because the step I’m taking is going to get other people hurt, as well. I’m deciding to stop the wedding. I no longer want to continue with this marriage. He hurt me in the past but now he is a faithful man. He is faithful now because he is injured but if he recovers I know he will start all over again.

    I think I have made the mistake of thinking of marrying him. I’ve prayed for a long time now asking God to help me love this person again because I see the love I had no longer exists; the feeling I had no longer exists.

  24. Stephen says:

    (USA) I’m glad I came to this website. I identified bigtime with it, especially paragraph 10. This morning I had a HUGE desire to hurt others throughout the day because I myself am hurting. After reading this article, I’m less apt to hurt somebody else today. There are many in my life I want to hurt. Feeling anger bigtime towards some in my life. If I did not control myself yesterday at work, I could have lost my “public servant” job if anybody reported my ‘behavior and attitude’ I displayed throughout my workday. Thank you for listening.

  25. Gillian says:

    (USA) My boyfriend (16 years) begs God to kill me, begs me to kill myself, begs God to give me cancer, calls me horrible names and says horrible things to me taking the Lord’s name in vain. I forgive him every time and try not to let it linger in my heart but just how much can one person take?

    I am not a bad person. Most of the time he does this when I miss answering the phone when he calls. Please pray for him and me. It wasn’t always this way. It gets harder and harder to forgive or forget and I don’t want to be that person. Everyday I have to pray for God to take hate from my heart and that prayer he answers. Why wont he answer the others? We are not leagaly married but I believe in my heart and in God’s eyes we are. I can’t just leave. If you read this please, I beg you, please say a prayer for us now.

    • Pavrone says:

      (USA) The fact that you have been his girlfriend for 16 years speaks volumes. It’s clear he has no intentions of marrying you and if he’s that abusive, most likely has been with other females. Thank the Lord you haven’t married him but if you’re having sex you are guilty of Fornication and God is not going to have any part of that at all. He makes that very clear.

      I’m sure you have a strong attachment to him at this point but it’s going to continue to spiral down until somone crosses a line they can’t get back over.

      We usually love someone based on how they make us feel so I doubt you love that, but are so used to him. Please see the section on Abuse here and see if he doesn’t fit the list to a T. If you do not know the Lord in a personal way, Please ask the Lord to be your Savior. Confess whatever you’ve done wrong and move from them and ask for His forgiveness. If you need any more info. on that, please just ask but if you’re sincere, it’s that simple. That’s your first step and He will guide your path to a much better life for you.

      I’m praying for you but I’ve watched (and lived) that happen so many times. Mine did until he cheated and then it seems that God got Him and changed him for the better. His father was like that, shot and killed my mother-in-law then himself and that’s usually how it ends.

      I’m praying you seek God with all your heart because you’re in a very dangerous place, physically and spiritually. Please believe me on this. Love and prayers.

      PS: No, you’re not married in God’s eyes and I can be so certain because of what He says in the Bible. You’re living in what he classifies as immoral sexual sin. It’s listed with murder and blasphemy. God is all about commitment and living together is not a commitment.

      God speaks of people taking or changing what is in His Word to suit their lifestyles and it makes Him angry. Please, I really want to help you and there is no way to say this without it sounding harsh but meeting God the way you are now will be harsh. I do want to help you but everything has to be God’s way. Not ours. And, HE never changes.

      • Pavrone says:

        (USA) In Romans 13 God speaks of God ordaining municipal power i.e. man’s laws and we are to follow them as long as they don’t violate God’s. Without the Law of marriage anyone can end it and walk away. That is the opposite of commitment and as Christ’s bride is the church, us the body of believers, He and we are to be in it until death do us part.

        God also says that everyone wants to do that which seems right in thier own eyes, and not obey Him at His word. That is the devil’s teaching.

        I pray you get your Bible and let the Lord speak to you on this. He will. His word never returns void and He loves you and wants the best for you. That is not what you are living right now. Prayers for all :)

        • Gillian says:

          (USA) Your response to my request for prayers seems to me a bit harsh. I have been reborn, saved and I feel secure with my place in heaven. I did not seek judgement from you. In the state which I live, my marriage is considered “common law” and is legally binding. My husband would never cheat on me. That is not the root of his abuse!!! I know he just needs someone to feel the same pain he feels and as he considers me his life partner and best friend he wants that person to be me. I only pray that he somehow sees it is not the way.

          I thought prayers are heard better if more people prayed together. You don’t understand my situation. I thought my duty (as you have stated) is to handle his anger with patience and kindness and not to return it with more anger. Yet it seems that if he doesn’t think he has hurt me he says meaner things. I understand you have seen this situation escalate into physical abuse but that I do not fear. He just hurts me with his words and it must stop. I thought I should turn to prayer first but I guess if I am a sinner your God will not help me. Btw God only allows divorce for marriages unequally yolked, so stop telling people to sin by leaving their marriage and stop judging me. My God doesn’t like that!!

          Oh, and there is also a law in my state that says a husband can beat his wife only with a stick no thicker than his thicket finger. So according to you it would be a sin not to take physical abuse.

        • Pavrone says:

          (USA) You have taken verses out of context, from not studying it all. I don’t mean to be harsh but the world’s problem is that they make up their own rules as they go. Totally disregarding God’s. Chaos.

          God says that adulterers and fornicators (as well as others) will not be going to Heaven. That doesn’t mean if we have ever done it but that we continue to do it. Common Law only counts with God if you would have to go through the same procedures to divorce as if married. I do not think it’s okay for a man to abuse his wife in any way shape or form. That is absurd. I could say your post is harsh, as well. I’m simply pointing out that we’re living in a way that is contrary to God. He says He will not hear our prayers and if you are saved doing so, He chastises His children. You just don’t want to be told that your llfe style is not pleasing to God via HIS WORD, not mine. Trying to stick with God’s word. Don’t shoot the messenger. Prayers for you.

  26. Anthony says:

    (USA) I broke down and cried for 20 mins after reading this.

    “The Gospel of St. John 20:23 says that we have to release the sins of others if we are going to be released. This means that if we do not forgive others then the very thing we have become victimized with will become a part of our life. For example, alcoholic fathers breed alcoholic sons if their sons do not forgive and release their fathers.”

    I’m not even really Christian, but this… IDK this has power. I came to this site b/c I separated with my wife over a sexless marriage and was looking for “self-awareness” and trying to figure out what I did wrong. I never imagined it would destroy my barriers of me being tied up as a child with a gun to my head forced to play Russian roulette. Even now tears are still coming from my eyes.

    I’ve found God!

    • Pavrone says:

      (USA) God bless you Anthony, wonderful news! You called on the LORD and as HE always does- He came to pick you up out of your despair. Keep reading brother. Love and prayers to you.

  27. Carol says:

    (USA) I was with someone in a relationship that I had hoped would lead to marriage, but he seemed to have so much bottled up inside that everything I said or did hurt him. It was so disconcerting. He is in his middle fifties and sometimes his behavior is so adolescent. Whenever we had a disagreement he would clam up or physically leave me without any guilt or explantion, and always go straight to another woman.

    How can he be a healthy person, and think that he can be happy with someone else when there are unresolved issues with he and me? I am presently in counseling trying to get my mental self back on track. I guess I’m trying to understand how a person can mistreat a person then believe they will be happy with someone else on another’s pain. That seems so inhuman. Am I wrong?

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Carol, Some people never “get it” as far as the pain they inflict and project upon others because of their own past painful experiences. They never realize that this is dysfunctional and they need to work it through so they can be healthy in their present and future relationships. You sound wise as far as letting him go and getting yourself back to a healthier place emotionally. You would have had a LOT more heartache in the future if you would have tried to make a go of that relationship. You can’t “fix” another person –you can only be helpful and supportive and sometimes help to open their eyes, but if they don’t realize they need help and instead flee or fight, then you can only do so much. This man is obviously a grown child who will keep running from pain and in the process he inflicts pain upon others, unbeknownst to him… so, so sad. I hope you can find the healing you need to get past this. I wish you well.

      • Rose says:

        (S. AFRICA) So true, there is no way that we can “fix” another person if they have hardened their heart and are oblivious (or so it seems) to the the hurt and pain their actions are causing to all those that love and care for them. Carol, I also agree it all sounds so inhuman but remember it’s all about “self” and in that state nobody else matters. Sad but true. Carol, you have made the right decision. I wish you God’s richest blessings. You will look back one day and thank the Lord for guiding you through this.

  28. Ansie says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA) Is this free of charge?

  29. Nancy says:

    (KENYA) Thanks for sharing. I’m hurting so badly despite the fact that I know what the Bible says about forgiveness. I have been married for the last 25 years to a man who is just all over with other women not even one at a time but more. I have not had sex for more than 1 year but each time I even initiate he tries but nothing happens. He even cries how much he is sympathizing with me but now I feel its a lie. I feel I need to separate.

  30. Maryann says:

    (UNITED STATES) This is so true. I have been victimized and have forgiven but not forgotten, because if you forget and/or numb yourself you will never be able to learn how not to victimize those who are close to you. We tend to hurt our closest, who are wives, husbands, children. I always said to myself I will never feel like a victim, because someone has intentionally or unintentionally hurt me. I tell myself that they have a mental sickness that is worst than what they have put me through, and for this I must forgive them.

    I wish my husband could do the same. He too has been a victim with words by his mother, sisters and brothers. He does the same to others! As I remind him that what he is doing is not right, he looks at me with disbelief that I can be so understanding. I too wish he would seek out counseling as I have been suggesting to him for 31 years now. Still a work in progress. Thanks for reading. Maryann

    • Patricia from United States says:

      Healing is taking place, but true healing takes time. When we develop a Father’s heart, as Jesus would want, all these hurts will fall off of us. Our source of true happiness comes from our total dependance on Him. Looking to any other person or source to meet our needs just sets us up for repeated failure.

  31. Juliette from United States says:

    I was sexually abused as a child, which continued into my older life. I have 2 failed marriages behind me. The man I’m currently living with has told me these things about me. No one else ever has. How do I know if he is right?

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Juliette, I’m a bit confused. Is this man telling you that the person who sexually abused you as a child is a “failed marriage?” If so, he is SO wrong in this. But please clarify what “things” he has told you about yourself that you’re wondering if he is “right.”

  32. Sharon from United Kingdom says:

    My husband was not happy about me attending my school reunion and left home by the time I returned home two weeks later. I was devastated when I came home to find he took his clothes and a few items of his, and now he is very upset and in pain over the decision I made. I would not have gone if I knew I was risking my marriage.

    My husband is hurting and the pain of what he perceives I did to him by going is linked to him being abandoned by his mother when he was 6 and a half. He expresses anger at me when he says he cannot be in the relationship because I continue to do my own thing. The truth is in the 11 years the things he raises is that I change the mortgage agreement without consulting him. He fails to recognise the times when I try to talk about it and he was quite dismissive. He now says because I went to New York for this reunion when he told me he was unhappy is another thing I have done to him.

    He has had several affairs and I have forgiven him. He says he had them because he was not happy at the time. I note he also has used internet sites to look at women. I feel that my husband has unresolved issues. He surrounds himself with expensive material things and gadgets for entertaining himself. All the traits of a hurting person including his dedication to his job, staying at the same work for years now he is into forming companies and making money, which is making him feel more powerful.

    I love him so much and want to help him to see that he is perfect if he could just let go. He breaks down and sobs when he tells me that he could not believe I would go to the reunion then he realised I would go and then he came home to see that I went through with it. I know it pains him to relive that process, which is stopping him from being a bit more rational now. He moved out the house and now I can’t get him back home. I need him to forgive me and also to see that is is linked to his insecurities around abandonment and he is hurting over that not me and that we are a partnership joined by. GOd and we can look after each other’s emotional health. I miss him so much I want him home but he is so resistant to coming home. What can I do besides be patient and give him time?

  33. A. James from United States says:

    All I can say is WOW! This is a very good article and so true! I met a lovely little Korean lady last year in California that was very nice. I thought. We talked, got to know one another a bit and then decided to marry in November of 2013. Prior to the wedding she wanted to slow down and wait, but me being so ancious and impatient I wanted to marry her. I needed her in my life. I thought to myself that I was getting old and I was thinking I will never find someone as lovely as her. It was selfish of me and I regret it.

    After we married, I noticed she was started drinking heavily (this was normal for her and I didn’t know it) and her language towards me was very nasty and harsh. It really increased a lot and turned very abusive. I was not provoking it at all. Instead, I was shrinking away and getting scared and paranoid after each dramatic encounter with her until I just couldn’t take it. I needed advice on what to do. My friend suggested I get a book by Anik called “Haunted Marriage” that deals with female abused spouses from their childhoods and how it affects their relationships with their husbands. I did not know anything about this at all.

    Well, my story does not end well. My new love has filed for an anullment because she quote, “had deep thought and is not happy with me”. I haven’t seen or spoken to her in two months now. My love was abused when she was very young by her mother’s boyfriend and does not live free from it. The abusive language is terrible and it comes from her hurt as a child. I still love her very much but I’ve needed to pray for my heart to remain strong. God is wonderful in times like this.

  34. Lo from Sweden says:

    Dear brothers and sisters. All human beings are inflicted with pain. No one is free of that. But there is a difference between those who “accept” their pain and those who don’t. The only way to go through to come out healthy is to recognize the pain (you have done this, that’s why you read on this article) and accept it, not try to exclude it from your life.

    Pain is one side of a coin. The other side is pleasure. If we try to “get rid of” the pain-side, we will not be able to experience the pleasure side of the actual life situation.

    Recognize your own pain, accept it and relax and understand the pain is not dangerous. Your mind tells you that you have to experience the same horrible thing over and over again, but it’s not true. Only by accepting that pain you will be able to see the solution to the situation you feel pain about. Pain will be transformed into pleasure if you are wiling to stay in it and let the coin flip over to pleasure when you realize that pain and pleasure are the two sides of a coin and you have to stay at the pain side as long as you resist the experience of pain. It is only your ego, which causes these problems. Your soul knows very well the importance of accepting pain as an experience in life you have to accept with a relaxed mind. not exclude it, but integrate it.

    Pain isn’t dangerous at all, only our ego says it is. Our soul welcomes this pain as a way to put life back into reality again. And reality is a life lived in the divine love, which is there all the time but forgotten due to our negative reactions of our ego. So experience pain is to die a little. And death is the gateway to heaven. The experience of pain is a necessary experience in life. Without it there will be no divine pleasure.

    So to be divine we have to go through our pain. There is no other way to divine pleasure. But don’t do this without a guide who has done this “trip” by himself. It is far too easy to go astray.

    • David from Jamaica says:

      This article is an excellent piece. I taught it in our Church with great effectiveness. Do keep up the good works, God bless you.

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